Hot bats spark Naugatuck

Naugatuck’s Corey Plasky tries to turn a double play after getting the force out on Torrington’s Cameron Cerruto (10) at second base April 13 at Naugatuck High School. Naugatuck won the game, 8-3. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — The bats have come alive for the Naugatuck baseball team and that has led to a quick 4-1 start for the Greyhounds.

Following a 14-1 loss to Wolcott last Wednesday, the Greyhounds rattled off three straight wins in which they scored 39 runs combined.

“I have been very impressed with the way we are hitting,” Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller said. “Naugatuck baseball has not hit like that in a long time.”

While only a quarter of the season has past, the Greyhounds’ offensive statistics show a big improvement from previous seasons. From 2013 through 2016, Naugy’s team batting average was .268 and the Greyhounds averaged five runs per game.

So far in 2017, the ‘Hounds are batting .351 as a team and averaging nine runs scored per game.  They also have seven players batting over .300 through: Joevanni Torres, Zack Royka, Mike Patton, Shane Swierbitowicz, Corey Plasky, Steve Marinaro and Derrick Jagello.

They Greyhounds’ offensive hot streak has been most evident in their past two games against Kennedy and Ansonia, who they beat by a combined score of 31-11.

In Saturday’s 16-6 victory against Kennedy, Royka pitched four scoreless innings while adding two hits and four RBI at the plate. Torres also added two hits and scored three runs.

Torres went 4-for-4 in Monday’s 15-6 win over Ansonia, pushing his average to .643. He had two home runs and drove in five runs. Swierbitowicz had a home run of his own, his second of the season, while also tossing five innings on the mound, striking out eight.

Naugatuck’s Steven Marinaro pitches April 13 versus Torrington at Naugatuck High School. Naugatuck won the game, 8-3. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

In an eight-run second inning, the Greyhounds recorded seven hits in a row.

The Greyhounds will face undefeated Holy Cross on Wednesday, and Deller said the offensive success has the team very confident.

“The team certainly has a lot of confidence right now,” Deller said. “We talked briefly today and the guys are excited about playing Holy Cross. If we can hit well, we can virtually play with anybody.”

The Greyhounds will need that confidence as they head into a tough patch of the schedule with Woodland (5-2) and out-of-league opponents Fairfield Ludlowe (5-2) and Cromwell (5-3) on tap for next week.

Naugatuck can’t look too far ahead though as the Greyhounds will play at Watertown (2-3) on Friday followed by a home game next Monday against Derby (2-5).